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[Sixth Draft] Dreamwalking [Trades]

Note to the PublisherAll centred text aside from the title and tagline represent separate pages and it would be preferable if they were separated accordingly

[Discussion] Dream Walking
[Rough Draft] Dreamweaving
Dreamwalking [First Draft]
[Second Draft] Dreamwalking
notquiteFinal Draft] Dreamwalking
[Fourth Draft] Dreamwalking [Trades]
[Fifth Draft] Dreamwalking [Trades]

Dreamwalking

The Art of Dream Manipulation



Introduction:

The subtle art of dream manipulation is a largely unknown and underestimated ability. Popular to the point of almost being compulsory by followers of the Planetars Kaimelea and Risthal, Dreamwalking grants the user the ability to visit the dreams of mortals, manipulating Dreamers experiences while they sleep. At its most basic level, the Dreamwalker is capable of 'walking' into the minds of those around them, usually for the purposes of espionage, mental therapy, fear-mongering and long-distance communication. At higher levels, the user begins to learn how to shape and change the dreams of their hosts, limited almost solely by their imagination. Other skills are rumoured to exist at higher levels, such as visiting the mystical Planes of Dreams and Nightmares; the homes of the Planetars themselves, as well as tricking the hosts sleeping minds to do anything from sleepwalk through to stopping their heart from beating. As sinister as the idea of manipulating the minds of others seems, Dreamwalking - along with the similar arcanic skill of Mysticism - is largely misunderstood and can be used for a multitude of positive purposes. Such purposes include post-traumatic mental therapy, memory repression and retrieval, self-learning and communication across the continent and beyond. Regardless of the purpose to which Dreamwalking is applied, there can be little question among the elucidated that the skill can be incredibly potent in the right hands.

The Identities and Names

Dream Guises:

To become a novice Dreamwalker, one must learn about Dream Essence, gain lucidity within a dream, and gain the ability to move about the Dreamscape. To mark the beginning of their journey into Dreamwalking, the novice's subconscious cloaks them in a Dream Guise, so as to provide anonymity and a degree of protection from the hypnotic charms and paralysing fears of the Dreamscape.

The exact appearance of the Dreamwalkers Guise is dependant upon their subconscious, which is dominant in a world shaped by your thoughts and desires. Depending upon the role the Dreamwalker wishes to play within the Dreamscape, their Guise can be anything from wish-fulfilment, personification of a particular personal trait or a projection of their personal beliefs, fears, desires, loves and hates. For benevolent Dreamwalkers, something that encourages feelings of safety, peace or happiness in those around them is common, while the more malevolent opt for forms that inspire fear, sadness and hatred. It is worth noting that unless the Dreamwalker undergoes a drastic change of personality, the Dream Guise they discover at novice level will stay more or less the same for the rest of their lives.

For this reason, the Dream Guise will not change a great deal once it manifests. However, once the Dreamwalker is used to it and feels comfortable with a new body, attitude and even personality, they can begin to make small changes. These may include hair colour, clothing, and skin tone. However, there will always be some resemblance to their original Guise.

Regarding abilities, the Dreamwalker is still limited to what they know and what they can create using their imagination. They cannot 'imagine' themselves to be better at sword fighting, or 'imagine' a beautiful piece of art, as those skills come from the mind, which is immutable.

Dream Name:

Like the Dream Guise, the Dream Name comes from the Dreamwalkers subconscious. When they first try to decide upon a name, one will spring to the surface of their mind and escape their lips almost unbidden. This is what they will be known as within the Dreamscape.

The Dream Name has a potency of its own, as it can be used to summon or be summoned by a Dreamer, regardless of whether they are able to Dreamwalk - See Soul Searching for details. When combined with the journeyman skill Walker Ward, the Dreamwalker may be forcibly kept at bay from a particular dream.

However, the true potency of names is derived from a Dreamwalker's True Name, the one they were born with and use whilst awake. Using a True Name, the target may be rendered powerless by an opponent, forcibly ejected from sleep and summoned against their will at the whims of their tormentor. For this reason, Dreamwalkers try to keep their True Name hidden whenever possible, and divulging it to an ally is a potent act of trust.

The Tools and Symbols

The Dreamcatcher - Appearance:

Often dismissed by the uninitiated, the dreamcatcher is the most versatile tool of Dreamwalking. Many Dreamwalkers tattoo a dreamcatcher upon their skin to provide permanent access to its power, while others prefer the more conventional hanging design. These are essentially the two different ways one can create a dreamcatcher: a stand-alone object and a design drawn onto a surface. Both are equally potent, with personal preference and convenience being the only separation between the two.

Regarding design, dreamcatchers can have varying patterns and weaves in their main 'body', but they will all share similar fundamental traits:
  • Circular boundary
    All dreamcatchers consist of a circular perimeter, within which lies the main design. This represents the cycle of Brightening and Darkening, and the infinite nature of the conflict between dreams and nightmares.
  • Two-dimensional
    A non-issue with the drawn design style, hanging dreamcatchers consist of a two-dimensional design woven within a flat, circular frame. This represents the intangible, non-Material nature of the Sleeping Planes as well as emphasizing the close proximity between the Sleeping and Material Planes.
  • Symmetry
    A dreamcatcher must have at least one line of symmetry bisecting it. This ensures order in the dreamcatcher's power, otherwise its effects will become chaotic and unpredictable.
  • The 'Eye'
    More metaphorical than literal, this merely refers to the centre of the design. This is the nexus where the power of the dreamcatcher is channelled. Dreamcatchers with an 'open' or unadorned centre are more partial to benevolent influences, with 'pierced' or impeded centres used more often by the more malevolent Dreamwalker.
The Dreamcatcher - Uses:
  • On its own, a dreamcatcher is used to ease the owner's passage from wakefulness to sleep. Conversely, the owner finds waking up much easier.
  • When blessed by a follower of Kaimelea, the dreamcatcher will protect the owner from nightmares, acting as a Walker Ward against Risthal and her Twisted.*
  • When cursed by a follower of Risthal, the dreamcatcher will prevent Kaimelea or her followers from reaching the owner, essentially painting a target over their head for Twisted and Azaru to torment them mercilessly.*
  • When combined with the master ability Shift, the dreamcatcher creates a portal leading into the Plane of Dreams or Plane of Nightmares. This is only possible when done from within the Dreamscape.
  • When used with a Dreamwalker's True Name, that Dreamwalker can be Soul Summoned and trapped within the dreamcatcher, provided both parties are asleep and dreaming at the time.
The Dream Eye:

An ancient and mystic symbol originating in Trelorian Reveries, the Dream Eye was drawn in place around the eyes of a Kaimelean follower in kohl, charcoal, paint or various other form of body-art medium. In recent eras, makeup is a useful alternative to the more traditional mediums.

Essentially, the Dream Eye will act as a form of revealing device, allowing the bearer to see a ghostly image of a Dreamwalker's Dream Guise even when on the Material Plane. Useful for detecting fellow tradesmen, as well as allowing the followers of Kaimelea and Risthal to detect their opposite numbers on the rare occasion the two of them come into contact in the Material Plane. Although there is only an aesthetic difference, Twisted prefer to draw a 'pierced' Dream Eye, one drawn with a slash.

Incense:

Available in various potencies, incense is one of the most powerful tools a Dreamwalker has in regards to putting someone to sleep. Available from apothecaries or harvested by hand, the dreamcatcher often combines this with a knowledge of herbology to rapidly draw even the most enraged or hyperactive target into the Dreamscape.
A basic knowledge of Alchemy or Herbalism is required.

Pendulum:

While some prefer to use a metronome, the simple pendulum is a tool that can be created on the fly with a mere piece of string with a weight tied to the end. Experienced Dreamwalkers use the pendulum to hypnotize a target. This tool is often combined with a relaxed tone of voice to coax the target into unconsciousness. Obviously, the more active or energetic the target is, the harder it will be to make them fall asleep.
A basic knowledge of Hypnosis is required.

Musical Instrument:

This can range from a flute or lyre, through to singing or even the power of the spoken word. The ultimate purpose of this tool is to make the target relaxed, making them more susceptible to the effects of pendulums and sleep-inducing incense.
A basic knowledge of Song, Bardism or merely the mundane playing of certain instruments is not taught by most Dreamwalkers and therefore requires outside training.

Pressure Points:

While not exactly a 'tool' per say, a Dreamwalker's knowledge of pressure points on an attacker’s body can be a crude yet effective way of sending them into the Dreamscape. Blunt force trauma to the head is also highly effective, but prone to side-effects upon their awakening.
A basic knowledge of Anatomy, Healing or unarmed combat such as Zinn'ka is required.

The Dreamscape and the Planes

The Dreamscape:

Contrary to popular belief, people who dream do not visit the Plane of Dreams - with the same being true for bad dreams and the Plane of Nightmares. The vast majority of dreams and nightmares experienced by mortals take place in a no-mans land called the Dreamscape.

The Dreamscape is comprised solely of matter called Dream Essence, which resonates sympathetically with the thoughts of nearby living creatures and people, moulding itself into the shapes and senses desired. A Dreamwalker's ability to Dreamweave stems solely from extensive experience with manipulating Dream Essence into whatever they can imagine. When inert, Dream Essence is invisible, allowing a Dreamwalker to seemingly create things out of thin air. Therefore, to an outside observer, the Dreamscape would appear to be an infinitely large universe of black nothingness, with the occasional galaxy of activity centred around a living mind.

As a side note, Vis and Ara do not exist, as there is nothing truly 'real'. This means that magic as most people understand it cannot function. Instead, a mage can 'imagine' creating a fireball, causing the surrounding Dream Essence to morph into one, ready for use. Unfortunately, skills that do not produce physical effects such as those used in Bardism, Ikonomancy and Mysticism are unable to be replicated.

A Dreamwalker's ability to jump from dream to dream stems from their ability to block their minds from the effects of Dream Essence and move through the nothingness to adjoining 'galaxies', invading the dream or nightmare of the soul within. See the section on Dream Threads for further details.

Those without the ability to Dreamwalk still visit the Dreamscape whenever they fall asleep, as Dream Essence echoes the Dreamer's subconscious, often recreating memories of the Brightening's events, summoning the very definition of peace or happiness as a dream or generating nightmares from the depths of their worst fears. With sufficient training, a Dreamwalker can strengthen the mental link between a Dreamer's mind and their sleeping body, allowing them to mend or create physical injury back on the Material Plane.

The Plane of Dreams:

The Plane of Dreams is a world of light, colour and life. For some, it is an infinite forest; others see it as an island floating amongst the clouds; more again perceive a horizon-less grassland or a bustling city. How the Plane of Dreams appears is perceived differently by every one of its Denizens, yet there is one structure that is common to all of the Planes representations: nestled within its heart is Kaimelea’s fabled city of Reverie. The city itself moulds and shifts constantly with the whims of its inhabitants, but certain landmarks stand resolute against the mesmerizing flux of colours and shapes.
  • The Dormus River:
    A glittering, crystal clear river, the Dormus curves around the walls of Reverie like a lover, caressing the Pearlvein Wall with its sparkling waters. The reflected light from the surface of the river glitters with every colour of the rainbow. Shortly after it passes through the city, the Dormus River reaches a cliff of infinite length and depth, stretching down into grey fog below. This, combined with the dazzling array of colours seen in the water, lends to the belief that the water of the Dormus River is liquefied Dream Essence, used to create all the creatures, objects and people present in the Dreamscape. Newcomers to Reverie are warned not to stare into the Dormus for too long, as many have looked into the sparkling waters and allowed its fast-flowing current to sweep their mind away.
  • The Pearlvein Wall:
    Encircling the city is a small, waist-high wall. Crafted when the city was first made, the Pearlvein Wall is made from stones taken from the Dormus River, held in place with a mortar made from a shimmering almost-pink metal called Pearlvein. The Pearlvein itself marbles the riverbed rocks, and is mined for its incredible strength and durability when forged. The Wall is blessed by the Planetar within the city to disallow anyone not of her following from entering the city. For the last few hundred eras, the city of Reverie has been held by Kaimelea, She Who Opens the Eye. By some flaw in the Wall’s makeup, it will never bar a fellow Planetar or Deity from entering the city, which allows Risthal to meddle with the Loom of Afterthought held within.
  • The Palace:
    A marble tower stands in the centre of Reverie, its tip lost within the clouds. The ‘palace’ is barren, a vast hollow tower without floors, and a marble staircase winding up the interior towards the single room at the top. In the centre of the tower, atop a marble pillar many hundreds of feet tall, stands the Loom of Afterthought. Created when the First Dream was dreamt, the Loom is rumoured to create the dreams and nightmares for the gods themselves and whoever controls the Loom can create and shape dreams and nightmares in the mind of people, creatures and any other living being in Telath, Aetheria and Aeternia. If one follows the marble staircase upwards as it encircles the Loom’s pillar, they will eventually reach the Throne Room. Here resides the Planetar of the city of Reverie, who at the present moment is Kaimelea, She Who Opens the Eye. On each side of her are Skavias the Mother Dragonfly and Rhyax, Weaver of Dreams. Lavat the Iridescent Serpent coils around her neck as Muse floats like a fog around her feet. Surrounded by her minions, Kaimelea governs the darkening-to-darkening operations of the Plane of Dreams.
The Plane of Nightmares:

The Plane of Nightmares is a patchwork of the fragmented fears that course through the subconscious. Every presentation of the Nightmare is unique to those who enter it. However, there are a few constants: darkness, a sense of foreboding and the overwhelming feeling of misgiving all rage throughout the realm. It is a grand mosaic of interwoven but fractured nightmares, accompanied by worry, stress, sadness and fatigue. Sewn together by Oerniosk as they enter the realm, these fragments may present for any length of time before shifting inexplicably to the next horror and none of them may be related at all to the viewer. They are merely pieces of the subconscious of mortals across the world that have fallen victim to the whims of Risthal and her collection of Twisted.

At the centre of the Plane of Nightmares is a crumbling skeleton of broken walls and fallen arches commonly referred to as “The Ruins”. It has been said that once the Plane of Nightmares held sway over the Sleeping Planes and The Ruins was Risthal’s nightmarish counterpart to Reverie. If one brightening the Plane of Dreams is lost once more to Risthal’s Nightmare, Reverie may become broken like The Ruins stand now. However, it is thought that the city within this Plane might repair itself should Risthal begin to win fight. The Ruins may have once held a name, but no one alive except for the Planetar herself remembers it – and she dare not speak it to her followers. The memory only evokes her greatest horrors throughout the realm should she be unfortunate enough to contemplate its previous existence.

At the centre of The Ruins, one building stands alone. It appears as a tomb of sorts, but the screams that resonate from it are much greater than anything even the most devout Twisted can handle. Many believe that within that tomb rests the once-great Paladin that Risthal has enslaved for the purpose of tormenting the sleeping minds of lovers; the pain of the man who scorned her love encased forever behind overgrown walls, reminded forever of her heart’s lament.

The Abilities and Limitations

Abilities:

Aside from the learned skills covered in the Skill Tree, there are a number of abilities taught to all Dreamwalkers at novice level that they are capable of employing, regardless of experience.
  • Soul Searching and Summoning
    Whilst dreaming, a Dreamwalker is able to mentally scan the Dreamscape through meditation, sensing the billions of Dream Threads that connect dreaming souls to their bodies in the Material Plane. By uttering the name of a Dreamer, A Dreamwalker will see the corresponding thread of said Dreamer light up, glowing substantially brighter than its surrounding threads. By mentally 'tugging' on a Dream Thread, the Dreamwalker will be similarly 'tugged' to the targets side. As there is often upward of a billion threads present in the Dreamscape at a time, a novice can take upwards of half a candlemark to locate the specific Dream Thread of their target. As the Dreamwalker gains proficiency in their craft, their ability to find specific Dream Threads also improves to the point where a Grandmaster can instantly and effortlessly find and Soul Summon in an instant.
  • Homing Instinct and Mental Links
    A Dreamwalker must be in their personal dream to leave the Dreamscape and awaken. For Dreamwalkers, this would be a problem if not for the fact that they are constantly aware of their dreams presence while Dreamwalking and instinctively know where to find it within the infinite space of the Dreamscape. This is because their Dream Thread constantly exerts a gentle, passive pulling upon their minds that draws them back to their personal dream whenever they try to leave it.
  • Conditional Invulnerability
    The very nature of a Dreamwalker allows them to learn abilities that rely on mind-tricks, illusion and deceit. These powers are potent upon the unwary, but are almost always ineffectual against those who are capable of wielding such a power themselves. The abilities of sleepwalking and emotion reading have no effect upon a Dreamwalker, as they are capable of regulating control over their minds and bodies while asleep, preventing others from taking advantage of them. Also worth noting is that Mystics and those experienced in meditation are considerably more resistant to a Dreamwalker’s manipulative abilities. This is believed to be because they are much more in-tune with their minds and are able to resist these effects more successfully than the layman.
Limitations:

While there are a few powers inherent to Dreamwalkers, there are converse limitations and weaknesses that knowledgeable opponents can exploit.
  • Phantom Injuries and Death
    Injuries made to a Dreamwalker in their personal dream will have no effect their physical body, and their death will merely eject them from slumber unharmed. However; once a Dreamwalker has left the protection of their personal dream, that same mental link that prevents them from getting lost in the infinite space of the Dreamscape will also transfer any injuries sustained to their Dream Guise upon their Material body. The injuries will be mental in origin and can range from limb paralysis in the event of having it hacked off in a dream, migraines from severe head injuries, all the way through to a dream-death convincing the brain that it should tell bodily organs to shut down. Experienced Dreamwalkers gain the ability to turn this limitation on its head; strengthening such links in a target, allowing them to experience such dangerous effects even in their personal dream. See the ability Convince in the skill tree for a list of effects at corresponding levels of mental attunement.
  • Mental Signature
    A power and a limitation, Dreamwalkers are able to sense one another, distinguishing them from the 'unenlightened' Dreamers and non-entities around them within a Dream. At its most basic level, a Novice requires careful close-proximity scrutiny to distinguish a Dreamwalker from the unenlightened. Apprentices require a prolonged stare, while Journeymen can spot other Dreamwalkers at a glance. Masters merely need to catch a glimpse of a fellow Dreamwalker to unmask them, as well as having a limited 'sixth sense' in their immediate area. Grandmasters have raised this sense to an art form, able to detect Dreamwalkers as soon as they enter the dream, as well as being able to spot the subtle 'flavours' of each sense, used to identify individuals perfectly and unfailingly.
The Dream Threads

Overview:

An anchor between the mind and body; A window displaying the sub-conscious emotions of its owner; A portal used by others to draw you together; A vulnerability that can be used to another’s advantage; these are all accurate descriptions of the phenomenon known as Dream Threads.

Through meditation, a Dreamwalker can unfocus their concentration from the specific dream they currently inhabit to view the entirety of the Dreamscape from an outside perspective. From there, the Dreamwalker perceives the universe as a cluster of threads, each denoting a sleeping being. The Thread belonging to the Dreamwalker appears attached to them in some way, usually tied around a finger. When a Dreamwalker moves into another dream, that person’s Dream Thread also attaches to the Dreamwalker. It is through the manipulation of Dream Threads that a large majority of the Dreamwalker’s interpersonal skills are worked.

Appearance:

The shades of Dream Threads indicate the subconscious response a Dreamer has to their dream. Covered further in the Emotion Reading section of the Skill Tree, the essential meanings of which is that nightmares are black or dark grey, and light grey or white threads are pleasant dreams.

The thickness of the Thread denotes the strength of the connection between the bearer’s mind and body. Novices, as well as those untrained in Dreamwalking have the titular thread, with the thickness of the thread, string, twine, rope or cable increasing with the level of proficiency in Dreamwalking. Mystics and those skilled in meditation have Dream Threads marginally thicker than the layman, indicating their affinity with the mind.

When not meditating, a Dreamwalker cannot sense the multitudes of Dream Threads that float in the Dreamscape, but with concentration, they can sense their own thread, as well as that of the Dreamer they are currently sharing a dream with.

Soul Summoning – Mechanics:

Firstly, the Dreamwalker must meditate so that they can perceive the Dreamscape 'from the outside', seeing the billions of constituent Dream Threads. From here, a mental 'tugging' on any random thread will pull the Dreamwalker to the matching dream or nightmare. This is how a benevolent Dreamwalker finds nightmares to 'save' the Dreamer from, and vice versa with the more malevolently inclined.

If a precise search of the Dreamscape is required, the Dreamwalker attempts a Soul Summoning. Speaking the name of the Dreamer will cause their subconscious to react, making their Dream Thread glow and shine in the eyes of the Dreamwalker. Due to the sheer volume of Dream Threads present in the Dreamscape at any one time, it may take a novice upwards of half a candlemark to locate the glowing Dream Thread. Once the thread is discovered, a mental 'tug' is all that is required for a Dreamwalker to 'pull' them into the dream. If, within a dream, a Dreamwalker is summoned in such a way, they will see their own thread glowing and shining. Through force of will, the Dreamwalker can suppress the glow, preventing others from locating them.

Consume and Reweave – Mechanics:
Very simply, the master Dreamwalker severs the Dream Thread that connects the victim to their body. This may be done through sheer force of will, although the use of a Pearlvein blade greatly eases this process. Reweaving is done by focusing on the severed ends of a Dream Thread and willing them to 'reweave' together.

Convince and Sleepwalk – Mechanics:
The Dreamweaver draws material from their Dream Thread and wills it to weave into the Thread of the target, strengthening it up to the same thickness as the Dreamwalker's Thread. Note: the thickness of the Dreamwalker's Thread is not compromised during this process, maintaining its strength throughout. Once the thread reaches the thickness of a master Dreamwalker, physical movements made within a dream can be transferred to the material body, prompting Sleepwalking. The passive suppression of this effect is what stops master and grandmaster Dreamwalkers from sleepwalking all the time.

Lock – Mechanics:
The master Dreamwalker can will the especially weak Threads of novices and those unskilled with Dreamwalking to appear nonexistent, preventing the target from leaving their dream and awakening. Experienced Dreamwalkers have Dream Threads too strong for this ability to work, which is why lock usually has no effect upon a fellow Dreamwalker.

Skill Tree

Novice:
  • Dreamwalk
    The Dreamwalker is now able to move away from their personal dream and explore the Dreamscape. They will not have access to the dreams of the more powerful races of Telath, such as Lamia, Dragons and Ancient Aelyrians, but the vast majority of the Dreamscape is theirs for the exploring.
  • Dreamweave (self)
    The Dreamwalker learns about Dream Essence, and can begin practicing the process of manipulating it within their dreams to whatever their imagination can conjure up.
  • Dream Guise
    The subconscious wishes, fears, desires and hatreds can manifest within the Dreamscape, imprinting themselves upon the Dreamer. Unless the Dreamwalker is masochistic or a follower of Risthal, it is usually the positive aspects of their subconscious that manifest. This manifestation changes the Dreamwalkers appearance, voice and even personality, turning them into the one thing their subconscious desires them to be.
  • Lesser Emotion Reading
    Centred around the reading and interpreting of Dream Threads, Emotion Reading allows a Dreamwalker to distinguish good dreams from bad. At the Novice level, Dreamwalkers can only see threads in white and black, denoting dreams and nightmares respectively.
Apprentice:
  • Dreamweave (other)
    The Dreamwalker's understanding of Dream Essence is sufficiently advanced for them to begin shaping the dreams and nightmares of others. Objects formed out of Dream essence look, feel, taste, smell and sound exactly as the Dreamwalker imagines them to - with practice - although any living creature created from Dream Essence will appear catatonic. This is because Dream Essences power is solely physical, and creating and manipulating minds is impossible. This is why a fear-mongering Twisted cannot simply imagine their foe dying, or screaming in terror. Anything created from Dream Essence will be 'locked' into the form the Dreamwalker desires, unless it is forced into a new form or if the Dreamwalker that shaped the essence leaves the dream. In that instance, the Dream Essence will revert to its inert, invisible state.
  • Convince
    The Dreamwalker can begin to strengthen the bond between the targets mind and body through sheer force of will, allowing injuries sustained in a dream to cause phantom injuries once the target awakens. The strength of the Convince varies depending upon the Dreamwalkers level. Convince is also required for Dream Healing; injuries sustained in dreams may be healed, but only if they are Convinced will it remove the possibility of phantom pains when they awaken. Anyone who is being convinced will lose their lucidity and realise that they are, in fact, dreaming.
    At Apprentice level, wounds and bruises will result in light to moderate phantom aches in the affected areas. Death may cause headaches. These effects will also be felt by the Dreamwalker in the event of their injury.
  • Greater Emotion Reading
    At Apprentice level, the black-and-white contrasting between threads become more subtle, with shades of grey showing a more gradual shift between dreams and nightmares, with black indicating complete despair and white indicating perfect bliss. Between the two, the shade of grey marks how 'dreamish' or 'nightmarish' the dream is.
Journeyman:
  • Warp Time
    The Dreamwalker can speed up or slow down time within a dream in comparison to reality, making a minute within the Material Plane stretch out into eras or compress down to the blink of an eye.
  • Summon Planar Denizen
    The Dreamwalker can now call on the sentient spirits that reside in the Planes of Dreams and Nightmares to possess bodies created by the Dreamweaver. As they are sentient life, they will need to be convinced to aid the Dreamwalker. If it is for the purpose of furthering the illusion of a busy city, for example, the Denizens often will have no problem doing so. If there is a real threat to the denizen, persuasion is in order. At any time the denizen may leave their body and return to their home Plane. It is recommended that Dream Denizens are to be called on for peaceful creatures, with Nightmare Denizens reserved for creatures that are intended to be violent, scary and generally unpleasant.
  • Walker Ward
    The dreamcatcher can now be made to repel certain Dreamwalkers, such as followers of a specific Darkening Sister, an individual that the drawer knows the name of, or even Dreamwalkers in general besides the caster. Those Dreamwalkers that try to enter a dream or nightmare that is 'protected' in this way will feel nausea and headaches that will become progressively worse the longer they trespass.
  • Convince
    Temporary paralysis resulting from inoperable limbs may persist several candlemarks after awakening. Death will cause migraines and temporary paralysis. These effects will also be felt by the Dreamwalker in the event of their injury.
Master:
  • Greater Dreamwalk
    The Dreamwalker now has completely unrestricted access to the Dreamscape. They can visit the dreams of Lamia, Dragons, Ancient Aelyrians and other powerful races. They can also move between the Dreamscape and the Planes of Dreams and Nightmares without resorting to using a dreamcatcher-portal; their desire alone being enough to transport them there.
  • Sleepwalk
    Similar to Convince, the Master strengthens the link between the target's body and mind to the point where the sleeping body will mimic movements made by their dream self. Injury and strenuous activity may awaken the target.
  • Consume
    The Dreamwalker can sever the link between the target's mind and body, causing the Dreamer to become trapped within the Dreamscape. This is the method that Twisted use to convert sleeping souls into Azaru, but can be used as a mercy killing by Kaimelean followers to allow a dying soul to remain permanently within the Dreamscape, where they may be brought into the Plane of Dreams by Kaimelea if not snatched by Risthal and her Twisted first. It is impossible to Consume a Dreamwalker without their consent.
  • Reweave
    Considerably harder than Consume, if only for logistical reasons, Reweave can reconnect a sleeping mind to its body should it have been severed. As Consume effectively prevents the mind from interacting with the body, the comatose form must be protected until the mind can be found and brought back to the dream in which it was severed. If that is done, then the link between mind and body will be rewoven, and the target will awaken with no negative side-effects - aside from bad memories.
  • Lock
    The Dreamwalker can prevent the target from awakening for up to a cycle. Dreamwalkers are largely resistant to this, taking between two to eight brightenings to escape, depending on their skill. Grandmasters are unaffected.
  • Shift
    The Dreamwalker can now create a portal within a Dreamcatcher to transcend the Dreamscape and enter Kaimelea's Plane of Dreams and Risthal's Plane of Nightmares. Here, Dream Essence remains inert under the will of the Planetar, forcing Dreamwalkers to resort to real-world skills in order to survive. Similarly, Ara does not exist, meaning that mages who try to access the Plane of Dreams or Nightmares must be especially prepared.
  • Convince
    Temporary paralysis will extend to brightenings. All injuries sustained will feel as if they were real, even though their body will seem unharmed. Death will send the target into a coma that may last up to a cycle. These effects will also be felt by the Dreamwalker in the event of their injury.
Grandmaster:

The Grandmaster Dreamwalker is almost without limits. However, they must obey the 'Four Fundamentals' of Dreamwalking, first described by the High Priestess of Kaimelea, Avaset Silkwind. These rules permeate the Dreamscape as well as the Planes of Dreams and Nightmares, and there is no one aside from the Darkening Sisters themselves that are above them:
  • The actions and thoughts of others can’t be controlled.
  • Sentience cannot be created. Any created life will become catatonic when not actively controlled by the Dreamwalker or possessed by a Planar Denizen.
  • If two Dreamwalkers are vying for control of an object within a dream, the higher level Dreamwalker will eventually gain dominance of said object. The exception to this is within someone’s personal dream, where they can overpower anything but a Planetar – providing they realize that they are within a dream.
  • A Dreamwalker can resist being pulled out of the Sleeping Planes if their physical body is disturbed, although feelings of nausea will be felt should the disturbance continue. If resisted for too long, the Dreamwalker may ‘pass out’ from the pain and be ejected from sleep.

Despite being at the top of the proverbial food chain, the Grandmaster must also cope with the now fatal implications of their strengthened Dream Thread. Lost or crushed limbs will be permanently paralysed. Death will stop the targets organs to simultaneously shut down, and even if they are revived through arcanic intervention, their minds will have been obliterated. However, their ability to convince others has become a lethal power, sharing their fatal flaw with the target.



* If a cursed Dreamcatcher is blessed, or vice versa, it will either smudge and fade or turn to ash.
__________________
The weary feel my blessing and the Dark shall fear my might
For in a world of shadows,
I am theChild of Light.

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Old January 10, 2010, 09:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Nothing added, just making the suggested edits and changes from the previous draft. Eager to get this write-up approved before the new semester ^_^

Comments and suggestions please!
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Old January 11, 2010, 07:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Some notes while I read:

I do not feel comfortable with traveling to the plane of dreams or nightmares. No other skill lets you just do it that easily at the master level. I understand your argument that these planes are closer to the material, but it is still interplanar travel. I think it would be grandmaster level and incredibly challenging to do, risking your life and the favor of the deities by going. Being smote is likely for your trespassing.

Quote:
An ancient and mystic symbol originating in Trelorian Reveries
Should be Trelorean with an e not an i

Problems with the dream eye:

this is arcana. How does it work? how is it related to dream walking other than helping perpetuate the war and being able to see it. I think this needs to be removed. Perhaps this is just a religious symbol used in conjunction, if that is the case, it has nothing to do in this write-up.

How incense is used needs to be removed. It it is to help themselves fall asleep that is fine, but this skill has nothing to do with putting others to sleep. In order to learn that, you will need more skills.

Pendulum also needs to be removed; this has nothing to do with dreamwalking as a skill. Let PCs discover this IC. I need to remind you that this skill cannot contain everthing, you will need to learn other skills to be able to do other things.

Musical instrument is the same; remove the reference to song. This is not relevant information.

Pressure points. I bet you can guess, these need to be removed. A dreamwalker would not learn pressure points as a part of their skill. That is another skill entirely.

Quote:
The vast majority of dreams and nightmares experienced by mortals take place in a no-mans land called the Dreamscape.
should be no-man's land. THough I have to ask, if this is where we all go to dream, how is it a no-man's land?

Other than that tiny comment about, the Dream Scape looks good, *thumb's up*

Okay, I sorta wonder why the Plane of Dreams and the Plane of Nightmares need to be re-iterated in this article. This is not a place that dreamers go except for the very elite, and most of those do not make it. On top of that, this is adopted from the two religious write-ups, no? I think this can be cut.

Quote:
Aside from the learned skills covered in the Skill Tree, there are a number of abilities taught to all Dreamwalkers at novice level that they are capable of employing, regardless of experience.
Then they are not outside of the skill tree because they are taught at the novice level. That is where they are.

Whilst should just be while

You did not make any changes to Conditional Vulnerability. It is incredibly overpowered if a Lv 1 is immune to a Lv 5 dreamwalker honing in on them. This needs to be gradual, you cannot give it all at once. A Lv1 one would be resistant, not impervious, to other Lv 1 skills that would affect it but powerless to levels above it. The mind is trained, not instantly made perfectly impenetrable.

Emotion-reading also has to go, unless you phrase it that they can only sense it while viewing the dream threads (which would be outside the dream) this is overpowered.

Do not capitalize after a using a semi-colon

Quote:
When a Dreamwalker moves into another dream, that person’s Dream Thread also attaches to the Dreamwalker.
Why? So it is easier?

Journeyman Warptime: There needs to be some limitations to this. Do they physically slow down in their movement? If not maybe they can make a minute feel like a candlemark, tops, at this level.

Summon Planar Denizen - this is either religious or arcane, not a tradeskill or dreamwalking. I think it needs to be removed

Journyeman Walker Ward: This should only work on equal or lower levels

Quote:
They can also move between the Dreamscape and the Planes of Dreams and Nightmares without resorting to using a dreamcatcher-portal; their desire alone being enough to transport them there.
No. Planar travel is more difficult than this and really should be restricted to the most deeply devote, not a skill in a trade skill. I think, on further thought, it needs to be removed completely.

Master Consume: This is too powerful for this level, there is no counter for it. And take out the religious elements of it. They are not relevant to this trade.

Quote:
Dreamwalkers are largely resistant to this
Why? That is overpowered, should go on a scale. Perhaps grandmasters and masters are resistant

End thoughts:

This skill is incredibly overpowered. For every balance you add in, you seem to add more powers. You need to remember that this is dreamwalking. This is not hypnosis or luring others to sleep. This is dreamwalking. You need to balance this more by unpowering it a bit.

Pretend that your character is not going to use this, so do not try and squeeze in everything you want to do. Does that mean you cannot do them? No, you just have to learn it separately. Dreamwalking should not be a simple give-all.

If you can unbalance it, you might be ready for a final draft in the next one! Good luck!
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Old January 12, 2010, 04:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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So... I actually find myself disagreeing with a lot of what you've said Ensnare, most of the points seeming to be a matter of your opinion of what fits in a skill and what doesnt whilst I find most of the points you want removed to be 'if you like' additional elements (with additional skills tagged on) rather than 'oh you must have this'.

I agree they aren't essential to the writeup but then I don't think a writeup is necessarily about only the essential.

On the other hand I'm forced to agree about the power level, some things seem to have changed or been added since I looked last that seem a bit too easy.

So in essence:

Dream Eye:

I do agree this needs an explanation of manufacture and working, but I can work with Quil to do this and will so happily...since it sounds like a Mysticism tool combined with possibly a little priestly input.

Incense/Pendulum/Musical Instrument/Pressure Points:

I disagree entirely here for the reasons stated above, it adds depth to the writeup and ties in the synergy of skills, given how short these sections are I don't think removing them is necessary at all since they give the writeup some nice cross-skill links...which are becoming more and more common.

Planar Travel Issue:

I think this can be resolved by better illustrating both the purpose of travel, i.e. why a Dreamwalker would want to go to these places and also perhaps a summary of the dangers of both places; since both would be dangerous.

I regard these two planes as something of an exception to the others however given, as stated, their closeness to the Material and the Dreamscape and their role in dreams and nightmares, therefore it would make sense that the Dreamwalkers Dream-guise could travel there were they sufficient skilled...

I havent re-read everything so i'm not sure if there is a skill level on this, there probably should be a 'level at which they can travel' (if there isnt) and a set of conditionals for how though.

I also disagree with cutting the explanations, nothing wrong with having the information available here with maybe a link at the bottom of each to the appropriate religious writeup, why the need to cut stuff out when the writer has put effort in adding it?

Conditional Vulnerability:

Agree with you here, this needs a better scaling explanation and probably an OOC crib-chart to explain it. From prior talks I think I understand what Quil means, but its not explained too clearly in the paragraph of text.

Emotion Reading:

Probably needs a clarification but I believe this only occurs when a Dreamwalker is trying to locate a dream to involve themselves in, Quil will probably want to correct me on this.

Warp Time:

Moments flash past in the blink of an eye in a dream, its essentially 'perception manipulation' which is what Dreamwalking is about anyway. Probably needs a scaling list of effectiveness per level though.

Summon Planar Denizen:

This only occurs on the dreamscape to my perception and the impact of it is limited to the dreamscape...so I don't see the problem here, its nothing to do with either religion or arcana and is simply a form of dreamwalker control over their environment and the close connection to the plane of dreams/nightmares.

Walker Ward:

Probably just needs and explaination of scaling and effect on higher level dreamwalkers, with most of the skills its not bad explaination, just a fuzziness over the effectiveness on higher level dreamwalkers.

Consume:

Needs more explanation of how it's done I think...Quil will know the other skill I had a long debate with him about and I think that this one needs similar consideration, or at least a better explanation of the caveats of where a victim needs to be in order for Consume to work and the limitations on a Dreamwalker getting them out of their dream where there are vulnerable. I think it was Convince which still looks a bit vague on the 'how' to me and feedback.

I agree that Dreamwalker resistance makes little sense though, again with a lot of skills there is need for a sliding scale of difficulty in imposing on lower levels of dreamwalker and a decreasing level of effectiveness on higher levels than the skill user.

General:

I also think all skills here, especially things like Lock: and other such skills need a really good explanation (probably the beginning in a 'how skills effect non dreamwalkers' type talk)... although reading through to try and find this I found: Soul Summoning – Mechanics: Which I tend to agree with Ensnare is far too overpowered since it acts entirely outside of the Dream and outside of any need to persuade the target to co-operate.

I'd put the question what prevents a Dreamwalker from lulling an entire house into Lock over the course of one night then robbing it without doing anything more than summoning each person in the house then Locking them? The answer to this will probably help me understand the intent a bit more.

Since at the moment it appears there is no 'exercise of defense' possible against this. Which there isn't against Arcana either or a master swordsman, granted, but there is still the chance of defense...running away, miraculously dodging etc, and therefore a requirement for the chance to be given.

I'd be happier if the majority of Dreamwalker skills required a) The Dreamwalker to enter the dream of the target and b) the Dreamwalker to convince the target (convince as in entice/lure/pursuade verbally) them to leave through a sort of 'portal' that would clearly be 'different' to their dream out into the dreamscape before those abilities became effective.

Additionally could you give a review of added/subtracted sections at the top or bottom between each draft? I can't recall which I looked at last but there has definitely been changes and i'm unable to precisely pick out what and where without reviewing the entire thing and comparing word-for-word with the last one.

Regards,
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Old January 13, 2010, 11:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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One thing, about the other eye and the pendulum and things. Those would be considered other skills and therefore cannot be included in this draft. As I told Angus in a chat conversation, that they do add flavor and can be added, but they are something that the PC needs to find outside of this draft. This skill cannot be a give-all, other things that are tangent to the skill, even if they add flavor, need to be got otherwise.
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Old January 13, 2010, 11:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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What about including them at the end with an addendum that these are possibly synergies that would require other skills? But could be useful to a dreamwalker?
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Old January 13, 2010, 11:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Apparently there's no place in a writeup - that isn't by definition a hybrid-skill - for more than one skill at a time.

Just waiting on Trinity/Tiaralla's comments before going for another Draft.
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Old January 13, 2010, 11:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That is fine, I suppose. I have two problems with it. It needs to be stressed that they are not included in the skill and are separate skills (ie you cannot get it in a dreamwalking training thread) and this article is very long, and a little trimming would help it. I like to keep all information in the thread relevant to the skill, but a brief mention would be acceptable.

EDIT: This is Ensnare, PS, forgot to switch accounts >.<
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Old January 16, 2010, 04:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This would be entirely fine if more 'synergy' skills were involved. It would make Dreamwalking very much like becoming a Ranger (combing different skills) ... which makes it less accessible.

I will look on this more closely before I make any judgement calls. It's a very interesting skill, mate It does seem a little over-powered that's all. We have to maintain a certain amount of balance to avoid any potential power-playing. It's a lame excuse, but it's for all the mods out there who would prefer not to have a headache.
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Old January 18, 2010, 01:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Okay, long awaited input from me:

Well, I’m going to have to agree on a lot of things that have already been said, so I’m sorry if I sound redundant. With the Dream eye thing, I’m not sure needing to see the other’s.. guise is even entirely necessary? I mean, if I walk around with this grandiose painting on my face (like this: here) or something, and I made it obvious (because I love my planetar!) that it had a pierce through it when I closed my eyes, or maybe I got my eyelid pierced jewelry wise or whatever… That’s gonna be a big hint already lol. Its like taking a neon sign and saying “RISTHAL IS COOL”. And then people will be mad, but then I wouldn’t care.

Honestly, it could be something that the Planetars themselves grant, which wouldn’t have a place in the writeup of course, cause GMs can make that up at will, but I remember Parryeon has the ability to read people in a trance sort of state, and can see how dark their subconscious or heart is or something and make judgment calls on whether or not to trust them like that. Or that’s the jist anyway. Kaimelea granted that to him.

Conditional vulnerability:
I agree with the scaling comments on conditional vulnerability. Sliding scale good, immunity bad.

Consume:
I’m not sure I completely agree that it is overpowered, but I think we aren’t on the same exact page with it. My idea for consume was that the person who is being consumed had to be completely lost first. If they fully 100% believe the dream, are put into acoma, lose complete control of their dream/nightmare to the dreamwalker, etc, then I think it makes sense that you can pull them out and keep them lost within that realm. However, you probably need to add in the stipulations I put in the Risthal writeup to balance it back out:

A person who is consumed (and becomes an Arazu) always has the chance to return to their body should they encounter the dream / nightmare of a person who knows them in the waking world. Example: I am consumed by a master Twisted. Duncan (IRL), knows me well enough that a memory of something I said exists in his subconscious. In my roaming as an Azaru, I stumble into Duncan’s dream, wherein I hear my own name. I would then be able to wake up in the waking world, because someone in the waking world remembers who I am. He may not have ever seen me, but the simple fact that his subconscious knows me (and that’s what I’m manipulating as an Azaru) is enough to pull me out of the trap I am in.

To get sufficiently lost… the dreamwalker should probably have to pass several checks along the way. I see it going something like this:

Master dreamwalker enters Bob’s dream. It starts out like a normal dream, Bob is running through a forest because that’s where he lives and he is dreaming about his day. Bob is worried, and the Master dreamwalker picks up on the worry and adds another element, like a bear to chase Bob. Bob continues running and while he is distracted by the bear that is trying to eat him, the dreamwalker is slowly altering the scene to the point that Bob’s subconscious forgot it was in the woods. Eventually Bob’s mind is so confused and lost within itself that it takes over for the dreamwalker and begins creating a hellishly bad nightmare for Bob without the dreamwalker’s intervention. Eventually the creature from the black lagoon that was created entirely by Bob’s subconscious running away with itself flops on Bob and Bob dreams he dies. His mind is racing and falling all over itself, and it is at that point the dreamwalker attempts to remove him from his mind completely, though Bob is fully aware of it. Perhaps Bob even has to interact with the dreamwalker directly. Say they appear and say something like “Bob, I can save you. Come with me.” Or something. And the dreamwalker ends up lying to Bob to bring him completely out of his own mind, then Bob ends up in the plane of Nightmares with the dreamwalker, where he is shackled into an Azaru body… and… viola, consumed.

So Bob the Azaru is set to wander around the dreamscape, not sure where he is or what’s going on, entering random dreams and relaying his torment to the minds of those he enters. But eventually he stumbles into Suzie’s dream. Suzie is Bob’s neighbor, and her mind is troubled and brings up thoughts of Bob being in acoma, and how worried she is about him and his family. Bob would then be sucked back to his own dream and feel a great desire to wake up.

For reweaving, I still think the same applies. Perhaps not in the nightmare sense, but the person must believe that they are in fact awake. They should become so lost within it that they never want to leave, and their mind needs to take control and run away with the dream. Then the dreamwalker should have to say something to them, and pull them out through a VERY OBVIOUS DOOR or HALL or something. That way the mind has to fail a sort of “this isn’t real” check on both accounts for them to become lost.

I also think the “anyone who remembers you” check is a good important way to return. That’s what I put in for the Risthal writeup re: Queen Nakashal (sp? The Lamia queen). If anyone who actually knew her / knows her / remembers her / could think about her ever gets her Azaru in their dream, she has every right to actually wake up if she is in fact lost like the legend says.

Does this make sense?

I think the biggest thing that I can say is make sure that everything has a sliding scale and a way to reverse it / unhinge it / defend against it. Not all skills Dreamwalkers have need to have great counters, but there should be a way to stop them if you are a lucid dreamer. Or warning bells that people whisper about in market places, and folks can pick up on inside their dreams.

I personally have no problems with the traversing to the planes of dreams and nightmares but I think there should probably be a little bit of a warning on it or a restriction in some senses. Say, you can show up there but you’re on the outermost ring, or something like that, where the meat of the plane isn’t really aware of you. After all, Mystics have the ability to travel to planes if they are smart enough (or creative enough about how they do it), but normally most things aren’t happy about foreign objects showing up. Rak, for example, pretty much metaphorically punched Pescado in the teeth for showing up on his plane. And I have a NPC that just threw her mind to the wrong plane and a lesser being of that plane is kinda… not happy about it, and is possessing her body. Uninvited guests generally aren’t welcome in any alternate plane – at least, that is my take on it.

Almost there !!
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Old January 18, 2010, 01:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Makes plenty sense, Tiff ^_^

Thanks for your feedback, everyone! 'Snare, as Crim and Dunc both like the idea of having extraneous skills, I'll keep them in, but I'll clearly stipulate that these are just useful add-on fluff that is not taught to Dreamwalkers as part of their standard training. Is that OK?
I'll throw in lots of the Sliding-Scale difficulties and things instead of the 'invulnerability' section (might be easier just to rewrite that paragraph from scratch)
Dream Eye is going completely ^_^
Consume and Reweave will be given more hoops to jump through as per Trinity's recommendations above
etc etc other stuff as well but it's 3.30am and I'll get to the next draft tomorrow!
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Old January 18, 2010, 01:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Take the skills out, those are tangent to the article itself and add a length that is unnecessary. Meditation is a skill that is supposed to aide others, that is different. Please remove them.
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Old January 18, 2010, 08:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Will do
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Old January 19, 2010, 05:54 PM   #14 (permalink)

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okay, since i've been gone forever and am playing catch up, my comments might not be in line with any changes that have occured with dream walking -but- the concept of dreaming walking when we created it was that it was a rarity that one could do it. The reason being ... without permission from Rithsal or Kaimelea you cannot become a dreamwalker. Between both deities, the total number of walkers was to be less than 100 with 60% to 65% of those being within Rithsal's realm. So my question from this write up is where is the limitation from everyone out there being a dreamwalker?

Another thing that doesn't make sense is the dream essense. The reason for this is that dreams are a break off of mysticism because it was given to Kaimelea who is also the deity of mysticism. This dream essence shoould be some form of mystical break off that exists within all living things; which is why even animals or anything that can think can be placed within the dreamrealm for real (not through a dream's form of illusion).

The dreamer's realm is one flowing plane of many swirling dreams within it. A dream walker is one who knows how to manuever within the plan to go from dream to dream. By thought they are able to find a particular dream if they are looking for it. Having items in their possession or knowing the individual help the walker to navigate the plane to seek out the dream. I say all this to get that the idea of battle may not physically scar the human form, it is a mental psychi type of attack and can damamge the mind. It doesn't matter who's dream you are in within the dream plane ... if you die ... you're dead.

This is why the original inception of the dream walkers was that they would contain a talent within the realm that they worked such as fortune telling within dreams etc. Only the champions were trained in the actual combat that kills.

I could go on further but the truth is dream walking was not meant to be a skill ... it was a religious gift. You could try to define it by using a skill progression (and I can understand the reason for doing this), without being given the ability from Rithsal or Kaimelea - its not happening.

This write up has a lot of good stuff in it and i'm unsure how to add suggestions at the moment for this to flow into the dreamer's initial concepts. I will come back to this after I do some more reading to get me up to date on the changes that might have taken place.
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Old January 21, 2010, 10:42 AM   #15 (permalink)

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So I chatted momentarily with Ensnare on this and know there is discussions to move this from a tradeskill to something else. Whatever that something else may be, i'll gladly offer what information I can extract from my tiny brain and aid you in getting this moving forward. There is a lot of interesting stuff in here that should not be wasted that will benefit the ideas behind dream walking, the risks, and the rewards!
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